Penance


stairs-735995_960_720“Bare your souls, repent your sins and cry your hearts out! Let it all go!”, declared Swami Swaymbu in the most Godly way possible.

“Drop your belongings at my feet. These things are nothing but the dust that cloud your spiritual ways. As your material possessions make their way to those that  deserve them, your worldly worries shall vanish.”, he finished with élan.

As the mesmerized devotees dropped their wallets, jewelry and even property papers into the large bins specifically set up for this purpose, Swayambu turned around and winked at one of his mistresses. His stomach rumbled with hunger but he cheered at the thought of her serving him his favorite meal at the ashram when he was done taking care of the donations. It was a hard days work and these days it was becoming quite a task to convince these educated fools to part with their money! With investigative journalists on the loose and media attention on religious leaders and cults, any religious leader worth his salt would need to tread carefully, leave alone a self made one.

But Swamyambu had been clever enough to never get caught and had accumulated enough wealth to take care of all his needs and had more beautiful mistresses at his service compared to a King’s Harlem!

“All is good.Maybe, this time I can go on that world cruise…”, he thought as he shut his eyes and got into the well rehearsed lotus position which ensured that he would not be disturbed by eager devotees who always wanted his blessings. Nobody disturbed a meditating yogi.

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Swayambu stood alone in a eerily silent and dark world where even the air seemed still.
“Where am I…anybody there?”, he called out.

He looked around him. Was he stranded in mid-air?
“Am I dead? Is this the underworld?” Such tales had been conjured by thieves like himself to dupe others, so it couldn’t be true…could it?

Fear shrouded his being as he began to fall.

“HELP!! Please!”.

Magically, a red stone path appeared under his feet. Relieved, he started walking as fast as his legs would take him. Soon he was running – for some strange reason, heat was emanating from the stones on the pathway crippling his ability to stand or walk. When he looked down, he found raging flames of fire which threatened to swallow him at  as they playfully licked the stones.

“Oh God, please help!”, he cried.

He was sweating profusely,  his feet were burnt and he gasped for breath. He could run no more. Then he spotted them – oh! how beautiful they looked and they were opening.

“The gates of heaven!”, he screamed delirious with delight as he sprinted towards the open gates.

He didn’t know what hit him as he plunged into the fire filled abyss below. The last words he heard before he turned to ash were from the the chuckling voice of the devil

“Bare your soul, repent your sins and cry out loud. Drop at my feet and beg for mercy as you make your way to where you really belong!”

The Devil sure had a sense of humor.

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#feedyoursoul #mytheme2017 #BarWoWe #Writing #fiction

Scarlet


“Shhh…you might wake her”, said Maya happily pointing at her bed.

Sanjay and Anita looked confused. “Look! She is right there on the bed. She was very tired and wanted to rest.”, insisted their 6-year-old.

By now, Sanjay and Anita were worried.

“Maya!You should not make up such stories!!”, admonished Sanjay.

“But, she is right there. She is wearing a red gown and has beautiful black hair! Can’t you see her?”, responded a hurt Maya.

Anita felt for her daughter. “Look Maya, there is nobody in this room. We understand that since we moved here you miss your friends… It has only been a week since we moved here. We will soon introduce ourselves to our neighbors and you might make some new friends. Now, please get ready for bed…”

Anita tucked the little girl in and kissed her good night. She turned on Maya’s music box but it refused to work!

“Great – another gadget that refuses to work in this house!”, murmured Sanjay as he took it in his hands. It had been rough since the move. The house seemed to be plagued with electrical issues and the temperature within the house oscillated from normal to warm and then cold  multiple times in an hour, which he had attributed to issues with the central heating and cooling.  And now, Maya was making imaginary friends! Was the move to this perfect home a wrong decision on their part?

As he touched the dial on the music box, the power went out bathing the entire house in darkness.

“Must be the fuse… Let me check…”, sighed an exhausted Sanjay. He turned on the flash lights on his cell phone and made his way to the basement.

He passed by the living room where the bulb on their new standing lamp flickering. “That’s odd…” he thought, wondering how the lamp flickered when the rest of the house had no power.

Inside the basement, he was relieved to find the switch board quickly. It was on the wall directly across the entrance to the basement. As he strode towards the wall he tripped on something which  turned out to be a small trunk at his foot.

“Must belong to the previous owners”, he thought. He had never ventured into the basement before and had not paid much attention to it when their real estate consultant had given them a tour of the entire house before the sale.  Located in Ooty the house was a 150 year old stone beauty built during the British Raj. Sanjay and Anita had been offered a  great deal on the house and Sanjay had been eager to complete the sale.

As he bent down to move the trunk aside, it’s top flipped over revealing the contents; some old clothes, documents and photographs. He picked up a photo and examined it by his flash-light;  a chill ran down in his spine. It was a photo of a beautiful woman with long dark hair wearing a red gown.  “Scarlet, at her Debutante ball – 1962” revealed the back of the photo in beautiful black calligraphy.

He was still rooted to the spot when he heard a familiar tune in the still of the night. It seemed to be coming from upstairs, from his daughter’s music box . Then he heard Maya…

“Look ma! You didn’t believe me, but my friend just fixed the music box. She says her name is Scarlet…”

Truant


barathonDid you hear about Sam, who was caught red-handed while he was at the movies during office hours?

Turned out that the director of the organization he worked for, had promised to take his son to the latest animated blockbuster currently showing in the city. He had taken a day off to fulfill his promise to his son and had run into Sam who was in his work attire complete with his office ID card along with his girlfriend buying tickets for the same movie!

The director was also a man who always did his homework and apparently Sam’s time sheets indicated that he had been working that day!

That was the end of Mr.Truant’s association with the organization!

Today’s prompt: Caught Red Handed

Potential


bar_ww_badegeShanti sighed with frustration as she opened the doors of her fridge. The different sized Tupperware boxes that lined the shelves greeted her with a threat of collapsing at the slightest complicated hand movement. What was she supposed to do with all this food? Why didn’t her cook just get the fact that she always cooked more than necessary! Not to mention the fact that nobody wanted to eat food from the week during the weekends! They worked hard during the week managing commutes, deadlines at work, a zillion meetings, homework, activities and everything that one could think of. They never really paid much attention to what they ate, as long it was palatable and healthy it went in… But weren’t weekends meant for relaxation, pampering and some good food and conversations at the dining table rather than bickering about old food??

And then, just like that, she saw the immense potential of what lay before her – an entire new brunch menu with what she had on hand…

She worked her magic and soon the humble daal was reborn as daal rotis, while the bhindi metamorphosed into bhindi masala with some onions and tomato to give them that boost! And as for the tons of rice…They debuted as pulao and yoghurt rice tempered with mustard and curry leaves!

She pat herself on the back when she saw the smiling faces at the dining table. The potential of another successful weekend as a mother and wife was in the works 🙂

*Daal – Indian preparation of lentils
*Rotis – Indian Flat bread made from wheat
*Bhindi – Okra
*Pulao – Indian preparation with rice, vegetables and spices

Linking to the Wordy Wednesday Prompt from Blog-A-Rhythm

And for the first time, I am also linking to Weekend Cooking as Beth Fish Reads

wkendcookingWeekend Cooking is open to anyone who has any kind of food-related post to share: Book (novel, nonfiction) reviews, cookbook reviews, movie reviews, recipes, random thoughts, gadgets, quotations, photographs. If your post is even vaguely foodie, feel free to grab the button and link up anytime over the weekend

The Journey Begins


Courtesy: Writetribe.com

Courtesy: Writetribe.com

A little kiss on his tender cheeks – “God bless you, my love”, she said

Next morning, her husband watched as the clothes and  shoes were chosen to match and the bag packed with love. As they were leaving, she rushed back into the house and came back with some sacred ash to smear on their son’s forehead.

Soon, she stood him alongside the other kids at school. The wailing started as she said “Bye”.

“I will see you later”, she promised only to be met with more tears.

“Mummy loves you”, she said, trying to look brave.

 “And, the journey begins”, she declared nervously. It was their son’s first day at school

The post is written as part of #100WordsonSaturday prompt by Write Tribe

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#MondayMusings: As muddled up as it gets!


MondayMusings1-214x300Does real life get in the way of creativity? Or is it the problems and challenges that the real life brings that get in the way of creativity? If a part of that statement were true, I find it funny that most successful authors had a pretty hard life…How did they overcome it all?

I have been struggling for months on end to even write a simple review or complete a book!! Even historical fictions! I cant bring myself to draw or paint, even though I bought a canvas and a brush!! Forget making note of all the recipes that I am trying….(and this is someone who has baked bread thrice over the past month!) everything that I was passionate about suddenly seems so dead to me! I have even been thinking on the lines of what good is all this when I am not able to do anything much with all of these so called talents! And I will definitely hurt anybody who might tell me that I should give up my day job and start painting for a living! Dude, seriously?? How does that even happen? I know many have done it but how? Following my dreams seems to be the most impossible thing to do.

So how do others that live a life filled with responsibilities and demands on their time and energy manage to get anything done?  I always had a “I can do it!” attitude, but these days I just want to be left alone and then I wonder what I would do if I were really left alone! My creativity has taken a hike!!

Yesterday someone told me that God troubles those who are strong enough to handle it, but then what happens when we are no longer able to handle all these lemons and have lost our ability to make lemonade? I should say, “God, you have actually weakened everyone with these never ending headaches because they have become tired of staying strong! That being said I am ready for the good times, and you can let those to rock my life starting anytime now”

And then I read this somewhere “Life is not about waiting for the storm to pass, but learning to dance in the rain” I am not too sure about dancing in the rain”. Right now if I did start dancing in the rain, I might end up with a bad cold but whoever wrote it is a millionaire and probably the most decent person on earth! Check this site to know  what I mean.

Finally, I have done the only thing I could do! Started typing away furiously on my keyboard without a care about prospective readers (No disrespect to anybody) liking my post or wondering if I have any real talent or imagination! I am not sure how long it will be before I can claw myself out  this time, but until then – thanks WriteTribe for #MondayMusings. If this subject can’t get me to write, I don’t know what will. Now, my unfinished canvases and all the art that I have always wanted to do, only God can help me!

Writing Resolutions for 2015


A great Monday prompt by the Write Tribe team. I mean, what better way to start a week so early in the year (at least for some, like me) by putting some time aside to think about how one would like to improve their skills and discipline as far as writing is concerned. It is a different thing that I get to the Monday prompt only few days later…… So, for my resolutions, no lists for me. Only one simple mantra:

Write! WRITE! Attempt to Write… I mean seriously, I don’t think I am going to sketch or paint for another year or 2. Not with a little one trying to grab everything in my hands. Come to think about it, it is the same with writing too, but then I have to do it.

On a side note, try to attack these prompts on the same day 🙂

And of course, be better about visiting other blogs and commenting and adding my linkys (can someone tell me if that is the plural of a linky) but still not sure how I’d pull that off…Need to come up with a game plan and fast!

Ideas and suggestions, welcome. God knows I need those 🙂

#MondayMusings – 19-Jan-2015